Highlights from the 57th Annual Venice Biennale

Highlights from the 57th Annual Venice Biennale

V's arts correspondant Nadja Sayej brings you everything you need to know from this year's Venice Biennale, from Peaches to performance art.

V's arts correspondant Nadja Sayej brings you everything you need to know from this year's Venice Biennale, from Peaches to performance art.

Text: NADJA SAYEJ

The 57th Venice Biennale opened this weekend with a double dose of art, parties and a bit of rain, but that didn’t seem to dampen things. Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford showed Hollywood hair-salon inspired artworks at the American pavilion, while Damien Hirst’s art dealer Jay Jopling brought in the art collectors into the Palazzo Grassi for Hirst’s latest (unrelated) blockbuster exhibition, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable.

In and around the biennale, there was a lot of performance art, whether it was impromptu performances by local artists surrounded by slices of watermelon or kiosks giving out a free visa called the “Freesa,” which was organized by the Tunisian pavilion as a comment on borders being broken down. With the odd, fabulous Venetian fashionistas in pearls and red capes, the Berlin duo Eva & Adele made a splash with their matching outfits as they trotted around art openings all week. And yes, Peaches played a late night set at the Canadian pavilion party, as did singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright.

The famed curator Hans Ulrich Olbrist was also in attendance for his show by the artist Mario Garcia Torres, while Olafur Eliasson had a room-sized installation in the Giardini for his green light project, which had refugees hired to make lamps with all proceeds going to non-profits. Scroll through the slideshow to see the highlights from the Venice Biennale’s preview week.

Mario Merz neon light installation “If the form vanishes its root is eternal” from 1982-1989 in the Peggy Guggenheim Museum Venice

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